Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Nighttime Wanderings

So, I guess I have an earthquake detection dog. That's what I'm going with if I want to put a positive spin on Carson's escapades last night. If I want to be just totally objective, it was a heckuva a long night with Carson pacing and me trying - unsuccessfully - to get some sleep.

About 12:45 this morning, Carson started doing her circle dance in her crate. She was sleeping there because she wouldn't settle or stay put when it was time to go to bed last night. We have a deal: she stays on the bed and sleeps and all is well; she wanders and she goes to her own bed. The circling continued off-and-on (mostly on) until I took her outside at 6:45. Then, as perusing Facebook, I noticed friends in both Oklahoma City and in Tulsa commenting on earthquakes overnight and their own dogs reacting to them. Hmm. Maybe that was it ...

USA Today ran an Associate Press release this morning that reported several earthquakes confirmed by the U.S. Geological Survey beginning at 1:45 a.m. All were centered northeast of Oklahoma City. A geophysicist from the USGS said three earthquakes had been confirmed, with a possible fourth under investigation. The largest was 4.3 magnitude and was centered near Luther, about 51 miles west-southwest of where we live.

Was this the cause of Carson's nighttime walkabouts? I don't know. After being at the tennis courts from 2:30 until 9 p.m., all I know is that I was tired and I didn't feel anything. I do know animals are more sensitive to these kinds of shifts that humans and I am certain my animals are more sensitive than I. Carson seemed to be the only one in our house who noticed, if that is indeed what kept her on the move all night. All I know is that I need some beauty sleep today!

7:52 pm: Latest reports say we had six total quakes today, beginning sometime after 1 am and ending just after noon, CDT. I hope tonight is calm and earthquake-free.

In the interests of learning more about Oklahoma earthquakes and their cause(s), I recently read parts of a March 26, 2013 report released by a University of Oklahoma seismologist's research which concluded that injection wells used by the oil and gas industry caused the state's largest earthquake on record. That was November 6, 2011, near Prague (OK), just over 35 miles from here. Thanks to Johnna Klukas for alerting me to updates and news reports!

According to the report, which was published in geoscience journal Geology, the quake was the largest to date resulting from injection and disposal wells. These types of wells are used to "recover oil from depleted wells or to store toxic waste fluid produced during drilling." The November 2011 quakes in Prague were on a fault line, as well as an oil field with heavy production in the 1950s and 1960s and fitted with injection wells  in the 1990s. It has been reported that more than 1,400 earthquakes occurred in Oklahoma in 2011, making it the most seismically active year on record. Even so, the state presently has no plans to limit or change injection well activity in the state. In fact, the state's official seismologist says there is no link between the wells and the increase in earthquakes. Of course, Oklahoma has a large oil and gas lobby and must protect its interests, so that comes as no surprise. I can only hope the two groups will come together at some point in the near future and proceed in the best interests of ALL Oklahomans - canines included!

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